What exactly is the metaverse?
Facebook’s big push into VR with the launch of its Oculus Rift headset has sparked a wave of metaverse speculation. Mark Zuckerberg said virtual reality is the next major platform after mobile. There are rumors that he wants to create ‘Facebook Island.’
This article will shed some light on what the Metaverse looks like so far, what it will take to build the vision, and what you can do in and with it.
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse concept doesn’t refer to any specific type of technology but rather a change of perception on how we interact with technology itself. According to the main idea, the Metaverse is a digital universe where you may be yourself or a better version.
It’s a hypothesized concept combining various technologies’ elements: social media, virtual reality, augmented reality, online gaming, and cryptocurrencies.
Maze War. is the first publicly known virtual world in the form of gaming.
On a network of Unix computers, this game allowed users to interact with each other in a virtual environment. A (much) older version of options we see today like Second Life, World of Warcraft, Fortnite, or Minecraft.
Chat rooms with avatars, basic graphics- Club Penguin style.
Ready Player One, the Steven Spielberg movie, represents Ernest Cline’s novel, which is thought to be inspired by Snow Crash. This film is set in 2045, but today is the best example of what can be.
Facebook goes Meta. Shocking the world, Mark Zuckerberg chose to rename it Meta and add a spending of $10 billion and employ the possibility for more than 10,000 people in Europe to build a metaverse.
VR options, multiple worlds, fashion, currency, and more in development.
Will the Metaverse change our lives?
It already has.
The Metaverse works as an example or a preview of the future. It shows we can improve communication, wealth, commerce, productivity, and entertainment. It provides people with opportunities to go on adventures they either couldn’t before or can’t- yet.
You are using it right now
The Metaverse has been introduced into our lives slowly- no headset needed. The idea itself has been presented with the Uber app, Netflix, or any app that reflects your surroundings or tells you about your preferences.
The Metaverse is also changing how people relate to each other.
People can experience anything that metaverses allow them to do (which, according to the plan, might be a lot!), such as sporting events, concerts, and much more.
But it’s critical to remember that, while it’s tempting to compare the early internet development, we can’t assume everything will get better and better. Or that the progress will be linear, and there are no guarantees.
Right now, we are on the first page of Metaverse, in the exciting stage where all we do is read the ideas and picture them in our minds.
Is a digital world worth it?
The in-development Metaverses expects to offer a digital economy where users can produce, buy, and sell. Its promoters (like Zuckerberg) believe they can find a balance to create a secure virtual experience, one of the most dubious things the Metaverse has.
Some platforms started their ‘metaverse’ process with virtual avatars, allowing them to do different things. And even create a personalized character you can take everywhere (created there so far).
A community to belong to
A mom takes a time out with “Meta’s $399 virtual-reality headset: the Quest 2, a bulky, white visor loaded with all manner of cameras, microphones, speakers, eye displays and sensors.” And lets her surroundings fade away as she transports into another world. Why does she?
Ownership and belonging are two feelings that we desire as humans most naturally. Ironically, technology allows us to connect with people easily, quicker, and even worldwide. For some, even more genuinely than in the physical world.
For example, Second Life has over one million registered users who interact in a three-dimensional and interactive online world. This is an example of what metaverses may look like in the future. You can customize your avatar in many ways, including its appearance, clothing, and accessories. The user controls their avatar’s actions within the game. They can also use items they have purchased with real money in Second Life’s currency.
Social media revolutionized the world, and we witnessed a complete transformation and redefinition of the term “community.” Today, we don’t associate physical proximity and location with social gatherings and see company cultures flourish remotely.
The word community acquires another layer with metaverses, more immaterial than ever, with chatrooms and video calls.
That sounds like what our parents used to say we shouldn’t do, but time has changed, with it the perspective of the internet and what it has to offer.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous.
Security awareness is vital in the digital world,
just like in the physical one
As metaverse-based lives become more important, the data we create in virtual worlds becomes vulnerable.
With the potential for international criminal networks and terrorists, security measures must be in place to protect users from these threats.
You can do a few things to help keep your digital information safe:
These can all help protect you from viruses and identity theft threats. They are the security basics everyone should know, more importantly, when diving into the digital life of metaverses.
There are still many issues, but the legal framework around metaverses and data protection is pretty sound. Yet, users must be clear about their rights in the metaverse-based life and how their information and data move within the metaverse companies they trust.
What is Facebook's role in Metaverse development?
The Metaverse is essential to merging virtual, augmented, and physical reality, which tries to blur the line between your online and real-life interactions. The expectation is to host hundreds of people in a single server model with motion-tracking tools, just like Facebook is pitching with Meta.
“Our company builds technology around people and their relationships because nothing beats being together. The Metaverse is the next evolution of social technology,”– wrote the Meta team.
While their announcement didn’t include instantaneous changes to the Facebook we know, the current state of technology needs to prepare for a whole metaverse experience. But with Facebook’s foot on the gas, the industries are paying attention and re-prioritizing development towards AI and VR.
Some people might think Facebook is inventing the Metaverse because they heard it for the first time, thanks to it. Still, as we mentioned before, this notion has been building for some time now. Facebook’s interest has made it more appealing for investors, creators, and the new technology-born generations. Its $10 billion plan became fuel for innovation and curiosity.
The objective of the Metaverse is for people to interact with each other. There can be shopping, learning, gaming, and the possibility to do different activities in different places that aren’t possible to be in or don’t exist outside.
Many industries have joined the Metaverse wave since Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement. Check our Medium thoughts on how the Fashion industry is one of the more evident examples of this!
Give it a go?
While Meta presents its Meta Quest Pro for $1500, you can still experience the metaverse idea for much (much) less through Sandbox, Mirandus, and Decentraland, to name a few. So don’t be afraid to try it. Find the one that might be more appealing or interesting for you and give it a chance to either find your community, try a new commerce way or just play a game.
And if you are more curious than that, take on the investment, dive into the Virtual Reality possibilities, and join the future.
It’s assured that this is just the beginning.